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Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 97 in Klamath Falls Area
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
A Turlock, California man died Saturday night in a three vehicle crash on Highway 97 in the Klamath Falls area.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Robert Fenner, on December 13, 2008 at approximately 8:12 p.m. a 2007 Chevrolet pickup driver by LEWIS L. BANKSTON, age 46, from Turlock, California, was southbound on Highway 97 near milepost 274 when it crossed into the northbound lanes. The pickup collided with the right side of a commercial truck operated by STEVEN LEE BEIDLEMAN, age not available, from Modesto, California. The pickup sustained major damage and came to rest next to the northbound guardrail.
Shortly after the initial collision a northbound 1992 Ford pickup driven by TEANCUM LEE CLARK, age unavailable, from Klamath Falls, collided with the left rear of the damaged Chevrolet pickup. The Ford pickup sustained moderate damage.
BANKSTON was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The occupants of the Ford pickup sustained no to minor injuries. No information on their names is available at this time.
BEIDLEMAN was not injured.
All the drivers and passengers were wearing their safety belts.
The roadway was completely covered with packed/snow ice.
OSP troopers from the Klamath Falls Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Klamath Falls Police Department, Merrill Police Department, Klamath County Fire District I and ODOT assisted at the scene.
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